Electric vehicle charging stations come to campus

UNA received six electric vehicle charging stations. Tesla donated $6,000 toward the instillation of these units.

The University announced that Tesla and EviroSpark, with help from school officials, teamed up to bring four Tesla and two generic electric vehicle charging stations to campus.

The University made a public announcement about the new chargers at local designer Billy Reid’s Shindig in The Park event at Wilson Park Aug. 25.

“UNA is so proud to be a part of this collaboration with Tesla,” said President Kenneth Kitts. “To be able to bring these charging stations to our campus and to the people of the Shoals is remarkable.”

The University will host the first public EV charging stations in Florence, with the next nearest public charging locations located in Decatur and Birmingham, according to a university press release.

“We understand that this places us on the cutting edge of college campuses in the southeast, and that’s where we want to be,” Kitts said.

At no cost to the university, Tesla will provide four EV Chargers and two universal plug stations in two different locations on campus, according to the press release.

Tesla is also donating $3,000 toward the installation of the units.

“We are proud to be one of those very few universities in this entire nation that has electric vehicle chargers,” said Management Professor Santanu Borah.

Senior Drake Jackson said he thinks the electric vehicle chargers will benefit the environment.

“Since now (power sources) are more available, maybe more people in this area will want to buy electric cars,” Jackson said.

There are two other EV charging stations in Florence, according to the press release. Private businesses house the other locations: The Baymont Inn and Suites and University Nissan of Florence.

Local designer Billy Reid played a part in bringing Tesla to Florence by promoting the community.

“Tesla would not be here without Billy Reid,” Borah said.

Reid said these partnerships among local and national organizations demonstrate the continued forward thinking and the commitment of all involved toward progress in the community.

“The introduction of a charging station for Florence is an example of this service-oriented philosophy and we applaud Drs. Ken Kitts and Santanu Borah, and their team at the University of North Alabama, for making these improvements to keep Florence competitive in the destination marketplace,” Rob Carnegie, president of Florence/Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau said in the press release.

The addition of this technology will place UNA among larger colleges in Alabama, including UAB, who host EV charging stations.

“We are trying to send a message that we care about the environment, we care about sustainability,” Borah said. “It’s sometimes difficult for a smaller university like UNA to be at the leading edge of things. By doing this, we are trying to get ahead of the curve and be a leader.”